When it’s SO cold outside, I’m always looking for signs of spring, or even reminders, or harbingers? Is a harbinger the same as a sign? Anyway, the one I’m enjoying now is the fact that the sun is so much brighter. It’s not turned all the way up to 11, but it’s possibly a seven or eight. When it streams through my south facing window at mid-day it’s almost blinding. The good kind of blinding. I know my house plants that are smunched up against the glass love the brightness because the leaves look sturdier. A few more weeks of this and they’ll start making new leaves, and the flowering plants, like geraniums will start making buds. A half strength solution of kelp or other organic fertilizer when you water is a good thing to start now. (Keep the fish emulsion fertilizer for outdoor use only)
Days are getting longer. During the dark days of December, the sun dips below the horizon a little after four o’clock. Yesterday I was out at five fifteen and the sun was just about to set. That’s a whole extra hour of sun. These changes happen so gradually that they are easy to miss day by day, so here’s my trick for a full-strength shot of spring: I make sure I have potted flowering bulbs in the house, like tulips and hyacinths, from January on.
Tips for making your flowering potted bulbs last longer:
- Keep them in a cool room
- Keep out of direct sunlight while flowering
- Use a deep saucer and water every couple of days
- Cut off faded blooms promptly
- For hyacinths: After blooms die, keep watering foliage, until it dies back. (They can have full sun for this period.) Plant bulbs outside in spring. You’ll have flowers for many years.